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Exhibitors' Newsletter, Spring 2016
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Exhibitors' Newsletter, Spring 2016

You should receive this newsletter with your Shows Handbook for 2016.  It has been sent out to all known exhibitors, judges and anyone else who has requested one.

Correction: Entries for the Southport Show should now be sent to:
                                Diane Clement. Tel: 01902 426024 (evenings only)


Message from Mary Randall – Acting Director of Shows

As I seem to be continuing in the post of Acting Director of Shows for the  AGS I trust that all of you will continue to enjoy the camaraderie of our Shows.

As a result of events during the show season of 2015 a few changes have been implemented.

There is a major change to timings: staging is to be curtailed so that judging can start at 09.45 sharp to allow Shows to open as near to 11.00 as possible. If the Show Secretaries can create more publicity then the public will have better access to the Show and the sales tables.

Should any exhibitor be in the hall when one of his/her plants is under consideration for an award he or she should leave. This rule also applies to judges involved in the same situation.

Lastly, but by no means least, PLEASE, if you have any queries or complaints relating to the judging process, ASK the coordinator, moderator or Show Secretary ASAP. The query can then be checked and the class rejudged if considered necessary. Unanswered queries fester! Do please COMMUNICATE.

Have a good new show year.


In this issue

  • Venues and Sunday Shows
  • Show Notes and Rules
  • Judging Criteria
  • Pot Sizes
  • New Exhibitors
  • Show Photographs and Reports
  • Artistic Section Changes


Venues and Sunday Shows

Our efforts continue to attract more of the public to our Shows.

Loss of London Show

Unfortunately our show in London was not so well attended last year, probably because the date coincided with the London Marathon. The RHS have decided that they no longer wish to run this type of show in London, so after an association of over 80 years, there will no longer be an AGS London Show hosted by the RHS.

Loss of Malvern Show

As you know, maintaining a one-day show at Malvern has been difficult as we had to find ways of filling the space with something of interest to the public for the other three days. In the absence of the schools competition this year, and difficulties in finding alternative exhibits for filling the space, the Malvern Show has also been lost to us.

Bakewell - Sunday Show

This show will again take place on a Sunday, but earlier in June this year: Sunday: 5 June. Be careful if you use satnav to get to the show hall - some of them take you into the car park on the wrong side of the river and you will have to carry your plants across the footbridge! See the instructions in the Shows Handbook.


The glasshouse venue for the Pershore Show worked well in 2015 and the show was attended by large numbers of members and the general public. The college were also delighted with the vistors that the show brought in to the college facilities, so we will be repeating the experiment in 2016.

Harlow Carr

The show in the RHS Garden at Harlow Carr was successful and will be repeated this year.

Show Notes and Rules


The word “Distinct” has caused some controversy this year.

In Show Note 14, it says:

The word “distinct” means “distinct varieties”. Obvious colour variants or sufficiently different forms are distinct varieties for this purpose.

In Show Note 31, we have:

In multiple pan classes the plants must be distinct - each plant in the grouping must noticeably differ from the others.Some classes may qualify the level of distinctness e.g. distinct genera.

We would emphasise to you that three or six pans ‘distinct’ MUST be sufficiently distinct to be identified as such with the labels removed. To continue this theme ‘distinct’ applies in all multiple classes.

Cyclamen Groups

There is an addition to Note 33 - it now defines a Cyclamen graecum 'group':

... Similarly, C. graecum 'group' includes C. maritimum as well as C. graecum and its subspecies.

Judging Criteria

"Plants requiring the same cultural conditions"

In classes for ‘three plants requiring the same cultural conditions’ three good plants of different genera will carry more weight than, for example, three Dionysias or three Asiatic Primulas.

Size of Shrubs

A few rather large shrubs have appeared on the the show benches so do be sure to check what the eventual  size of your shrubs may be.

Pot Sizes

Pot sizes have been discussed and it has been decided to retain the current limits as, in the north at least, Spang clay pots are still readily available in the designated sizes.

Flower Arrangements

Flower arrangers should observe Note 26 which states: " Bases and accessories are not permitted."

New Exhibitors

If you know anyone who might be interested in exhibiting, be sure to encourage them. Introduce them to other exhibitors at the shows. Make sure they have a copy of our leaflet on showing plants - copies should be available at all the shows or can be obtained from the Centre at Pershore..

Show Photographs and Reports

The Society's website is a valuable repository for images of plants taken at our shows.

The Show Results Section ( contains complete results from all the shows over the last 12 years with pictures of many of the trophy winning plants.

The Show Reports Section ( contains reports of all the shows back to 2005 as seen through the eyes of the official Show Reporter, with descriptions and pictures of many of the more unusual plants seen.

The Image Library ( contains all the digital images taken by the official show photographers back to 2007. This library can be searched on the website in many ways. For example, you can search for a particular plant or for pictures of all your own plants or for all the images from a particular show or a particular year. To access the full range of search criteria and to see full size images, you need to be a logged in AGS member.

More informal show reports and picture galleries of shows can be seen in the Members' Discussion Area ( Any member can display pictures and make comments here, so please share your impressions and pictures of the shows with other members.

Artistic Section Changes

The biggest change in the Shows Department this year is to the Artistic Sections. For some time we have been running two separate Photographic Competitions.

One of these is the Annual Competition announced in the Journal and on the website:

The other has been the Photographic parts of the Artistic Section at some of the Shows.

External factors affecting the number of shows where there is scope to stage a photographic competition have resulted in the loss of the London and Malvern shows.  This means there is a very small number of shows left that are able to stage photographic sections.  Other concerns in relation to the shows photographic section were

the provision of suitably qualified judges at all the shows involved;

lack of display boards;

the fact that the same images were going from show to show and being re-judged each time.

After considering all these issues, a decision has been taken to discontinue the photographic section of the Art at shows.  Botanical art and needlework sections will remain unchanged.  As a result of this decision it was felt that the annual photographic competition should be strengthened and widened by adding additional classes to draw in more competitors. Publicity for the Photographic Competition will also be enhanced. There is also the option of awarding medal points in addition to prize money that may be attractive to existing show exhibitors. The annual photographic competition also gives overseas members more opportunity to compete and show their images.  The Society is currently considering ways in which images can be displayed and brought to the attention of as wide an audience as possible, at shows and at other events. In future it is intended that all the entries to the competition will be posted on the website (until now only the winning entries have been posted).  A letter will be sent to existing show exhibitors encouraging them to enter the Annual Competition once any changes have been finalised.

Exhibitors Newsletter edited by Jim McGregor

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